Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conan Leaves, Jay Comes Back (aka.."Why It Still Won't Work.")

Yes, this is the real new cover of EW

The official word came down today from NBC. Tomorrow night will be Conan O'Brien's last night hosting The Tonight Show. On March 1st, Jay Leno will come an audience that is no longer there and without the target audience (or, Key Demos if you're in the "biz") that the network is desperately craving. In what has got to be one of the biggest public screw ups since the Bush administration, NBC has told this audience that they don't care what they think. It's almost like coming home for the holidays and your 88 year old uncle still thinks your 11 years old and can't make your own decisions. "That's nice Billy, but let the grown ups decide what we're going to watch." Guess what Uncle Jeff, we make our money, we make our own decisions and we're not going to sit on your lap. I've heard several people say that they're going to boycott NBC. That just isn't going to work kids. BUT, there are several advertisers that I'm sure would not like it if you decided not to buy their stuff because they advertise on this network. I'm just sayin'...

In the past 7 months the world has become more instant than it has ever been. The success of a show hangs in the balance of tweets and Facebook postings. This was evident during the first episode of the Jay Leno Show. While it aired on the East Coast, it was dead on arrival on the West. (Read our review here) It wasn't a new/old format that needed to be fine tuned. It was that what people find amusing when they are falling asleep, they then realize that it is not funny when it's on at 10:00. And now they are stuck. What should be evident to the NBC brass is that Conan's fans are loyal and are ready to follow him where ever he goes. Team Conan is so loyal that they would even be willing to go to leno's first night back and heckle him. (Not that I would be encouraging anyone to go to the NBC Ticket box office located at 3000 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91523 when they open at 8:00 am to get tickets for jay's first show on March 1, 2o1o A.D.)

But there is also another group that will get hurt with Conan leaving that no one is talking about. That's the Universal Studio Tour. Conan has been a great friend to the tour and promoted the hell out of it on his tv show. I know many of the Studio Guides there and they were excited that he was going to be filming on the lot. But now, that's all gone. The theme park has lost what was a great ambassador for them. A huge, beautiful sound stage that was built for Conan on the lot will now sit empty. A daily reminder to the people in the black tower of the mess that was made.

It has been great seeing the support that has been given to Conan through all of this. While it's a rough time for his crew, they are loyal to him. They are loyal because he is loyal. And that has transcended into the Hollywood and stand up community. There are some un-spoken allegiances that are being formed of those that will not go back on The Tonight Show, and you know what..that's okay. It's a new world, a new broadcasting system and a whole new world of fans. And it's a world where other talk show hosts no longer hide their feelings and make fun of you...

Where Conan heads to next is still up in the air. Several networks have been mentioned including FOX, Comedy Central, FX, USA and TNT. Where ever he goes, I'm sure that network will let Conan be himself and do what he does best, make us laugh. There are even some more rumors that ABC is secretly looking to bring in a third host for the Oscar's next month. It would be a brilliant move to lock Conan in as a host. But this is all pure rumor and speculation, much of it made up by me. So while I'm at it, there's another rumor going around that Zucker was once caught with Leno and 2 Thai hookers shooting quarts of motor oil in ways I can't even begin to describe in Jay's car warehouse....allegedly. :o)

Conan, we'll miss you in the time your gone, but look forward to what's in store.

Look for our review of Conan's last Tonight Show tomorrow after it airs on the West Coast.

POPped in memorium - Jungle Jesse

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